Pre-application advice

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We can give you advice on whether your works would be acceptable when you apply for planning permission.

For Householder advice (on alterations and extensions to residential properties) click here.

Pre-application advice - for all non-householder proposals

Pre-application planning advice can be provided via a pre-arranged paid for meeting with a planning officer. The fee is paid online when you book your appointment. Pre-application advice includes a 60 minute meeting with a Planning Officer (non-householder service) at the Civic Centre and a written report. Please see the charges listed in the fees schedule below.

Before you start please check you have all the necessary documents (see Documents required below) ready to upload. Our advice will be based on the information that you provide with your application. It is in your interest to provide detailed information such as detailed plans (to scale or with dimensions) when you book your appointment. Pre-application service fees are non-refundable.

PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fully complete the online booking process, including making a payment, a pre-application appointment will not be made.

Documents required

A site location plan must be provided. Please upload an OS-style site location plan at a scale of 1:1250, clearly showing surrounding roads and properties, with the boundaries of the application site outlined in red. This plan is mandatory for all pre-application advice and must be uploaded when you book an appointment. 

If you do not have a Site Location Plan at 1:1250, maps can be purchased from the Planning Portal at http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/planning/applications/plans.

You will be able to upload up to 8 further documents. If you have photographs of the site and the site surroundings please provide these along with your site plan. You may find it useful to view example plans:

For major applications only – there is a 10MB limit per upload and a 20MB limit overall for multiple uploads. If you are unable to provide your information in sections, labelled accordingly and sized at no more than 10 MB, please forward large files on a disc - this needs to be sent to the Planning Department, Civic Centre, St Peter’s Street, St Albans when you book your appointment.

Make an appointment for pre-application advice

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You will have to complete an initial form and upload your documents. Once you submit this form you will be directed to our online appointment booking system.

When you reach the appointment booking system please ensure that you select the correct service - Householder Pre-application Advice is for works or extensions to an existing house or within the boundary of an existing house’s garden.

For all other works, including proposals relating to a new dwelling/s in existing gardens, please select Non-Householder Pre-application Advice.

Please note that all pre-application advice meetings will be held at the Council Offices.

Non-householder pre-application meetings are available:

  • Mondays and Tuesdays between 1.30 and 4.30pm
  • Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9.30am and 12.30pm

Once you have booked and paid for the pre-application service, you will be sent a booking confirmation by email, which will include details of how to change your appointment if needed.

If you do  not complete the booking process an appointment will not be made and your documents will be deleted after 7 days.

We aim to send you written advice within three weeks of your meeting (unless otherwise agreed between you and your case officer). 

The advice given is officer advice, provided in good faith at this point in time, given the nature of the legislation existing today and based on the information provided by you when you make your booking. It is therefore given without prejudice, is not binding in any way on the Council and does not form a judgement of whether any subsequent application will be approved or refused. 

It is in your interest to provide as much information as possible when you book your appointment - we suggest that you provide detailed plans (to scale or with dimensions) and good quality supporting information.

St Albans City & District Council Pre-application Charges Effective from 1 January 2016


DESCRIPTIONFEE

NUMBER OF MEETINGS
INCLUDED IN COST

SERVICE STANDARD

BAND A 
Significant Major Projects


50 dwellings or more,  development on land more than 5 hectares, 10,000 square metres or more for retail, industry, warehousing.

Any development that requires an Environmental Impact Assessment.

The Council encourages potential developers to engage in a Planning Performance Agreement (PPA) for these proposals.  
Bespoke agreements can be agreed with the Council in
advance of the submission of the pre-application proposal or at the first meeting setting our heads of terms.                         

£3000 + VAT =£36001 meeting lasting up to 1 hour

Within 3 weeks after meeting to send notes of meetings

Or within 3 weeks to send final response after last agreed meeting

BAND B
Major Proposals

BAND B1 
between 10-14 dwellings

£1500 + VAT =£1800
(includes 1 meeting and 
advice letter)

1 meeting lasting up to 1 hour


Within 3 weeks after meeting to send notes of meetings

Or within 3 weeks to send final response after last agreed meeting

BAND B2 
between 15-24 dwellings

£2000 + VAT = £2400
(includes 1 meeting and 
advice letter)
1 meeting lasting up to 1 hour


Within 3 weeks after meeting to send notes of meetings

Or within 3 weeks to send final response after last agreed meeting

BAND B3 
between 25-49 dwellings

£2500 + VAT = £3000  
(includes 1 meeting and advice letter)
1 meeting lasting up to 1 hour


Within 3 weeks after meeting to send notes of meetings

Or within 3 weeks to send final response after last agreed meeting

BAND B4 
Change of use between 1000-4999 square metres of buildings and land; 
or non-residential development such as retail, leisure, industry, warehousing, 
agriculture 

£1500 + VAT = £1800  
(includes 1 meeting and 
advice letter)
1 meeting lasting up to 1 hour


Within 3 weeks after meeting to send notes of meetings

Or within 3 weeks to send final response after last agreed meeting

BAND B5 
between 1 hectare and 4.99 hectares for non-residential 
development such as retail, leisure, industry, warehousing, agriculture

£2500 + VAT = £3000  
(includes 1 meeting and 
advice letter)
1 meeting lasting up to 1 hour


Within 3 weeks after meeting to send notes of meetings

Or within 3 weeks to send final response after last agreed meeting

BAND C
Minor Proposals

BAND C1 
Minor Proposals for 1-4 dwellings 
(including replacement dwellings)

£750 + VAT = £900   
(includes 1 meeting and 
advice letter)
1 meeting lasting up to 1 hour


Within 3 weeks after meeting to send notes of meetings

Or within 3 weeks to send final response after last agreed meeting

BAND C2 
Minor Proposals 5-9 dwellings

£1000 + VAT = £1200   
(includes 1 meeting and 
advice letter)
1 meeting lasting up to 1 hour


Within 3 weeks after meeting to send notes of meetings

Or within 3 weeks to send final response after last agreed meeting

BAND C3 
Change of use between 1-999 square metres of buildings and land;  
or non-residential development such as retail, leisure, industry, 
warehousing, agriculture, education, care home, sui generis use* 

£1000 + VAT = £1200
(includes 1 meeting and 
advice letter)
1 meeting lasting up to 1 hour


Within 3 weeks after meeting to send notes of meetings

Or within 3 weeks to send final response after last agreed meeting

BAND C4 
Advertisements

£100 + VAT = £120  
(includes 1 meeting and 
advice letter)
1 meeting lasting up to 30 minutes


Within 3 weeks after meeting to  
send notes of meetings

BAND D
Householder extensions  
and alterations

BAND D 
Householder extensions and alterations (including any Listed Building and/or archaeology advice)

To apply, see Householder Pre-application advice.



£200 + VAT = £240   
(includes 1 meeting and advice letter)

1 meeting lasting up to 30 minutes  

Send advice within 3 weeks of meeting.   

BAND E

Listed Buildings and Archaeology




BAND E2 
Listed building and/or archaeology advice for non-householder proposals 

£750 + VAT = £900    
(includes 1 meeting and 
advice letter)
1 meeting lasting up to an hour    


Within 3 weeks after meeting to send notes of meetings

Or within 3 weeks to send final response after last agreed meeting

* This gives an indication of the types of changes of use.

These charges are reviewed on a regular basis. 

Advice from Historic England

Historic England (HE) offer a separate pre-application service for applications where they would be a statutory consultee.  If the proposed planning application affects designated heritage assets, listed building consent, faculty consent and scheduled monument consent and Historic England would be consulted, it is worthwhile using this service to check the likely response. For further information and advice from Historic England, please click here


Advice from the Environment Agency

The Environment Agency offer a separate pre-application service.  If the proposed development site is a hectare or more, in flood zones 2 or 3, close to a watercourse or on potentially contaminated land it is worthwhile using this service to check the likely EA response at planning stage. 

For further information and advice from the Environment Agency, please click here.

Building Futures - Sustainability measures and design

building futures

Building Futures is a web-based guide designed to provide practical, user-friendly and up-to-date guidance for applicants on how to include measures to improve sustainability within their designs. It focuses on making development in Hertfordshire more sustainable and of a higher quality in design terms.

Planning Aid

Planning Aid provides free, independent and professional planning advice and support to communities and individuals who cannot afford to pay planning consultant fees. It complements the work of local planning authorities, but is wholly independent of them.

Contact details:
The Planning Advisor;
PO Box 1225, Kenninghall, Norwich, NR16 2WR;
Tel: 0870 850 9801 
E-mail:eecw@planningaid.rtpi.org.uk

Planning Aid provides free initial advice to all callers but more detailed help will only be provided to individuals and groups that meet their eligibility criteria.

Date of last review: 15 August 2017